The Voice of the Gem City

October 21, 2020

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza is seeking the death penalty for the man accused of killing two young brothers in the Melrose area in August. Mark Wilson Jr., 30, alleged killed Tayten Baker, 14, and Robert Baker, 12, at their home. He was dating their aunt and living on the property, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. The fall term grand jury seated Tuesday returned two first-degree murder indictments against Wilson, who also faces two other charges — burglary with assault or battery and burglary while armed.

An attempt to serve a warrant in Crescent City Tuesday ended up with the Putnam County SWAT Team being called out and a 62-year-old man arrested. A Putnam County Sheriff’s Office deputy went to serve a warrant to evict Gary Shaw from Bass Capital Mobile Home & RV Park off U.S. 17 South. Shaw refused to comply with several orders to leave on his own and the landlord told deputies Shaw brandished a firearm in his presence and was known to have firearms in the residence. Concerns for law enforcement and community safety led to SWAT being called out. Shaw refused to speak with deputies or family and was eventually found in a bedroom in the residence where he was arrested and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Shaw was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors, and has bonded out.

Palatka Police are investigating the apparent shooting death of a man on Palatka’s Northside. The body of a black male with at least one gunshot wound was found in the 1700 block of Olive Street around 7:45 a.m. According to sources, the body is apparently that of 37-year-old Artavius Brown. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene Unit was processing the scene along with Palatka detectives. If you have information regarding the shooting, Contact Det. Sgt. Colten Lee at 386-329-0115 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477. This is the second time in five weeks that the body of a shooting victim has been found in the Northside. The first was Sept. 14 where the body of Inneisheo Brinson, 38, was found near Ninth and Main streets. No arrests have been made.

The Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine reopened to visitors this morning. It’s the first time visitors have been allowed in the Old Fort on the bayfront since the National Park Service closed it March 17 because of coronavirus concerns. The Castillo will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Only 100 people at a time will be allowed in the fort. Cash is not being accepted for tickets.

Palm Coast City Council Tuesday approved adding three sheriff’s deputies for additional policing in the growing city. That brings total of uniformed Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies under contract to 31. Officials say cost of policing the city is now at $4.1 million.

Coronavirus case numbers in St. Johns County passed the 6,000 mark with Tuesday’s daily status report, according to the Florida Department of Health. Forty-eight new cases were reported, bringing the total since counting in March to 6,038. Most have recovered including St. Johns County Commissioner Paul Waldron who was at the county commission meeting in person Tuesday. The Department of Health in Putnam Country reported five new coronavirus cases with one transfer into the county. Total number of cases in Putnam is now 2,278.  Flagler County reported 18 cases Tuesday, bringing their total to 1,993.

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